Queen City Bulldog Rescue Opens a Dog Food Pantry in Bellevue, Kentucky

Following the closing of the Norwood-based Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry in Summer 2018, QCBR's pantry is the only one of its kind in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati

click to enlarge A cute pup hanging out at Queen City Bulldog Rescue Headquarters, where the dog food pantry is housed. - PHOTO: COURTESY OF QUEEN CITY BULLDOG RESCUE
Photo: Courtesy of Queen City Bulldog Rescue
A cute pup hanging out at Queen City Bulldog Rescue Headquarters, where the dog food pantry is housed.

Across the river and into the heart of Bellevue, Kentucky is Queen City Bulldog Rescue. But don't let the name fool you — they're about more than the sweet, wrinkly dog breed. Last month, the nonprofit ushered in a new initiative: a dog food pantry meant for anyone who might need help feeding their four-legged family member. 

Following the closing of the Norwood-based Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry in summer 2018, it's also the only pantry of its kind in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. Housed in their headquarters at 707 Fairfield Ave. — where they also connect with fosters and volunteers; host meet-and-greets, free lectures and various seminars; and keep storage and more — QCBR founder Chelsea Muenzer says the decision to add a pantry was an organic one. She estimates that they've served over 150 families thus far. 

With each passing week, she says the turnout grows both in terms of people actually utilizing the pantry and for incoming donations. It's also drawn more awareness of their first-and-foremost mission. Founded in 2017, the foster-based rescue has placed over 300 English and French bulldogs in their forever homes and have over 200 volunteers in their ranks. 

"We have amazing followers (for our) rescue," she says, "so once we (proposed) this notion of helping more than just bulldogs in this very special way, everyone jumped on board." 

Currently, the pantry is operating on a no-questions-asked honor system. For those who need help getting fido food, all they need to do is simply show up during open hours — every Sunday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. — or reach out to make an appointment. If they have what you need, it's yours. Muenzer says they have yet to run out of kibble, but they're also hoping that they keep getting more food to keep supply up as word spreads. 

She adds that many of their dog food bags are larger, so they should last for a "good month." Looking forward, they may implement a system where guests can get a free 30-pound bag every month by signing in. But for now, it's first-come, first-served. 

click to enlarge Queen City Bulldog Rescue's headquarters is located at 707 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Kentucky. - PHOTO: COURTESY OF QUEEN CITY BULLDOG RESCUE
Photo: Courtesy of Queen City Bulldog Rescue
Queen City Bulldog Rescue's headquarters is located at 707 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Kentucky.

When asked how it feels to be spearheading this kind of work, Muenzer gushes, "Talk about all the flipping feels!" 

They've received a warm welcome and outpouring of support for the pantry — so much so that Muenzer says it has taken the rescue on a "10-fold." By that, she means that they've been able to connect with more people and bring more foot traffic to their physical headquarter space. In turn, that allows them to offer more classes, educate people about pet ownership and point them in the right direction, be it for training their canine or guiding them to other local resources. 

For some, the pantry might just be the first step in the door. 

"We're finding that we're able now to keep dogs in their respective homes by offering that much-needed support that a lot of our neighbors need," she says. "It's just the most thrilling, rewarding (thing). Now that we're doing it, it's so hard to imagine the rescue without doing this."

The storefront itself reflects Muenzer's emphasis on being a place that all dogs and humans feel welcome. Comfy dog beds lay about among chairs that appear equally as comfy. Their logo — a bulldog with its tongue lolling out as it wears a crown — fills one wall. Photographs of adorable pups hang on others. Muenzer says that they take a lot of pride in being a community-focused organization that keeps it local to the Greater Cincy area. 

"Obviously we're all human and you can get sucked into a lot of the bad," Muenzer says. "But this is a nice, friendly reminder that people are good, the dogs are good and we're just so proud to have a really small footprint on people and their pets in our own neighborhoods."

If you're interested in donating, using the pantry or finding more information about Queen City Bulldog Rescue, visit queencitybulldogrescue.com or facebook.com/QueenCityBulldogRescue. You can also check out the pantry's Amazon wishlist here

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